Mumbai: Coming down heavily on sordid reality shows ‘Bigg Boss’ and ‘Rakhi Ka Insaaf’, the Union Information & Broadcasting Ministry on Wednesday severely criticized the adult based asked their channels to telecast them only after 11 pm.
I&B Ministry said that ‘Bigg Boss’ should be aired between 11 PM to 5 AM instead of the prime time slot on national television. The show should also carry the disclaimer that it carries adult content, which is not suitable for children.
But regardless of the govt decision, Bigg Boss was aired on its scheduled time of 9pm, prompting a furious I&B ministry to summon the channel people for a meeting tomorrow. A channel spokesman claimed that they had not received the order during the day, possibly because it was a holiday.
Ever since its inception, ‘Bigg Boss’ has been in news for the wrong reasons. The show has been openly promoting promiscuity, 'fake' marriages (Sara Khan and Ali Merchant’s wedding), abusive language (Dolly Bindra’s incessant crude comments) and uninhibited display of sexuality (Veena Malik’s sexually loaded overtures to co-contestant Ashmit Patel) in the name of prime time entertainment on national television. ‘Bigg Boss’ and ‘Rakhi Ka Insaaf’ have been hugely criticized for their insensitivity towards the cultural and moral ethos of Indian society.
'Rakhi ka Insaaf', compared by actor-dancer Rakhi Sawant, hit the spotlight after Laksham Prasad, a resident of Jhansi, committed suicide, which his family alleged, was following the humiliation meted out to him on the show.
His family said the youth was upset after Rakhi described him as "impotent" and had gone into depression and refused to eat anything for several days.
I&B officials claimed this is the first time that the ministry has compulsorily changed time slots of popular TV shows.
Talking to a TV channel, television stars voiced their concerns on such reality shows. According to Rahul Bhatt, an ex-constant of ‘Bigg Boss 4’, “‘Bigg Boss’ is vulgar, very obnoxious, and its content is not for general public viewing.”
However, another participant of the show, Ali Merchant had diametrically opposite views as he said, “There is no need for broadcasters to make any changes in the show. Even if its timings are changed, it will hardly make any difference.”
The shows cannot also be repeated at any other time slot or shown on news programmes, they said.
The Ministry also banned Telegu SS Music channel for a period of seven days for allegedly showing nudity.
The decisions were taken at an inter-ministerial meeting represented at by additional secretaries from the Ministry of Home, Women and Child Development, External Affairs and Information and Broadcasting on Monday.
Numerous complaints have been made by viewers as well as the National Commission for Women and social activists who accused the channels of showing explicit content.
The decision would be effective with immediate effect that is from today, the officials said.
"We have not asked the producers of the show to modify content or have not done any sort of censoring, just shifted the time slots allotted to them," senior ministry officials
The meeting had been called after round-the-clock monitoring of the channels.